The road in front of my house: already plowed, but still covered in a concrete-like layer of ice.
Updated 10 AM -- see below
The radar this morning shows the back edge of the Winter Mix Surprise leaving the Cape Girardeau area, ending the sleet and freezing rain for now.
But that was just the beginning of Winter Storm "Flanders". Let's call the first round "Ned". Where I live in northern Cape Girardeau County, he brought a couple inches of sleet on top of an impenetrable layer of ice. It looks like snow, but feels more like concrete.
Areas to the south are reporting heavy ice accumulation. Here is a report from near Poplar Bluff:
1.8 INCHES OF COMPACTED SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN. LARGE TREES BENDING TO THE GROUND. LIGHT FREEZING RAIN OCCURRING.
This 6AM report from Paducah is rather ugly:
HEAVY ICE ACCUMULATIONS CAUSING MULTIPLE POWER TRANSFORMER EXPLOSIONS AND DOWNED OR BENDING TREES IN THE COMMUNITIES OF PADUCAH, LONE OAK, MADISONVILLE AND FULTON KENTUCKY.
After a brief lull in the precipitation this morning, the second round will arrive. Let's call this part of the storm "Maude". With temperatures trending warmer than originally forecast, she will bring mostly freezing rain this afternoon and evening, eventually changing back to sleet and ending as snow.
Maude may not be quite as strong as Ned, but could very easily have a bigger impact on the Cape area. The official National Weather Service calls for more of everything: freezing rain, sleet and snow.
TODAY...FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET IN THE MORNING THEN FREEZING RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON. SLEET ACCUMULATION UP TO 2 INCHES. ICE ACCUMULATION OF UP TO ONE HALF OF AN INCH. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 20S. NORTH WINDS 10 TO 15 MPH. CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION NEAR 100 PERCENT.
TONIGHT...FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET IN THE EVENING THEN SNOW AND SLEET AFTER MIDNIGHT. SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATION UP TO 3 INCHES. ICE ACCUMULATION OF UP TO ONE QUARTER OF AN INCH. TOTAL ICE ACCUMULATION UP TO THREE QUARTERS OF AN INCH. LOWS AROUND 19. NORTH WINDS 10 TO 15 MPH. CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION 80 PERCENT.
WEDNESDAY... MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF SNOW IN THE MORNING...THEN MOSTLY SUNNY IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE MID 20S. NORTH WINDS 5 TO 10 MPH IN THE MORNING SHIFTING TO THE WEST IN THE AFTERNOON.
Remember that the February 2008 ice storm started as mostly sleet before turning to ice, when things got really ugly. The same could happen with this storm.
Update 10 AM
So much for the lull in the precipitation. The next round of Winter Mix Surprise has already arrived. I've been seeing moderate sleet and freezing rain since roughly 8:45 AM. The radar looks pretty solid, so we should be seeing stuff fall from the sky throughout the day.
In addition, there's a chance of thunder. I heard a couple rumbles of thunder yesterday evening, and we could see more "thundersleet" today. This graphic from the Storm Prediction Center paints a bullseye right over us for a chance of thunderstorms (but no severe storms):